CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - CAVAN COUNTY HOSPITAL APPOINTMENT OF SURGEON.

To ask the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that the appointment of Dr. McMullen to the position of Surgeon to the Cavan County Hospital was made by a majority of those present at the meeting of the Committee on the Cavan County Home? Whether it is true that the Chairman of the meeting refused to receive a motion to postpone the appointment for six months, and, if so, does he consider that the Chairman acted properly in refusing such motion? Whether he is aware that considerable dissatisfaction has been expressed by the people of Cavan by the manner of the appointment, and whether he can state if it was made in accordance with the required procedure? Whether, in view of the circumstances of the appointment he is prepared to sanction it?

Dr. McMullen was appointed by a majority of 7 (nine voting) at the meeting of the Cavan County Home Committee on the 12th December last. I am informed that the Chairman did refuse to accept a motion for postponement of the election for six months; in so doing he appears to have acted with propriety and legality.

After careful consideration of all the circumstances concerning the election the appointment has been sanctioned. Dr. McMullen's qualifications and experiences are satisfactory.

By order of the County Council the Cavan County Infirmary was taken over on the 22nd February, 1922, and it was decided to appoint a County Surgeon. The Ministry, at the request of the County Home Committee, prescribed the qualifications and salary. On the 10th October, 1922, a resolution was carried by a majority of three (thirteen voting) to reduce the qualifications required and to increase the salary of the person elected. The Ministry took the necessary steps to bring this proposal to the knowledge of all the members of the Home Committee. At a meeting specially summoned the Committee unanimously resolved to advertise the position under the conditions prescribed by the Ministry.

On the 12th December, 1922, the date fixed for the election, a motion to postpone the election for six months was ruled out of order.

The reasons given for the proposal to postpone were (1) that the Operation Theatre and other arrangements in the County Hospital had not been made, and (2) that the Cootehill Urban Council and representatives of the Cootehill ratepayers demanded a hospital for that district.

The Ministry had already pointed out the desirability of appointing a County Surgeon in order that he might be in a position to assist the County Home Committee in making the necessary arrangements for the new County Hospital, and it was on such recommendation that the Committee had actually decided to advertise the position.

The Chairman of the Cootehill Urban Council definitely stated in making his claim for a Cottage Hospital for his district that it was not proposed to have the County Hospital in Cootehill. That proposal could not therefore be regarded as the reason for postponement of the election.